Roman Fever Analysis
I believe the central idea of “Roman Fever” by Edith Wharton is how present the past really is people judge you by your past, your life is determined by your past, and you are everything your past made you out to be. Her themes of choice, irony, destructive passions and the past is always present in the lives we lead today are clearly presented within her writing and made evident thru the storyline she uses. In “Roman Fever” two women who were friends since childhood now have hidden resentment towards one another and finally settle their feelings toward each other in the same place where their animosity arose. Past actions, feelings, and thoughts are never forgotten; instead they are locked away until a situation rekindles them or brings them into the light such as in the story “Roman Fever” the two “friends” are trying to “one-up” each other until the final climax where only one can walk away on top. Destructive passions tie into this story so well from Mrs. Slade’s animosity of Mrs. Ansley to forge a letter to expose her to roman fever and remove her from the picture. Intimacy another passion centralized within the story is found in the late night intimacy between Mrs. Ansley and Mrs. Slade’s husband Delphin. Deception is widely used in this story such as the forgery of a letter from Delphin Slade to Grace Ansley but it was actually written by Alida Slade, the soon to be wife of Delphin. Jealousy, envy, and two-facedness were the leading passions in the text the resentment to Mrs. Ansley for the last 25 years, as well as the envy of Mrs. Ansley’s daughter, Barbara, because she was in all ways better than her own daughter Jenny. Ms. Slade who had detested Mrs. Ansley and was wallowing in her own sorrows while Mrs. Ansley lived nearby not leading the greatest life but certainly a happy life with her husband Horace and her...
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